tv Charlie Rose PBS December 25, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
the impossiblement we'll talk with naomi watt its, ewan mcgregor and the director, and maria belon. her life is the subject of the film. >> it's an incredible movie. i see it and i can realize, i mean people can feel what was the beginning of being there, just the line that begins, you know, all the horror and the pain. but it's incredible the job that name owe-- naomi did because when you watch it you can feel the experience. you can watch from outside, just feel are you insidement so you get all the, you know, feelings and experience we felt as the people went through. >> rose: les miserable, and the impossible when we continue. funding for carlie rose was provided by the following:
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: les miserables is one of the best loved muse calls of all time, 60 million people have gone to see victor hugo 1862 novel of tragedy, romance and revolution sung into life it is now one of the year's most anticipated movies. here is the trailer for the film. ♪ i dreamed a dream in time gone by ♪ ♪ and hope was high, life worth living ♪ ♪ i dreamed that love would never die ♪
♪ i dreamed that god would be forgiving ♪ ♪ but the tigers come at night ♪ ♪ thunder ♪ i had a dream my life would be ♪ ♪ no different from the tale i'm living ♪ ♪ no different now from what it seemed ♪ ♪ a life has killed a dream i dreamed ♪ ♪. >> rose: joining me now is the director tom hooper, his last movie the king's speech
won an oscar for best picture. also with us anne hathaway. she brings new grit and passion to the role of the tragic heroine and hugh jack mann jean valjean. i'm pleased to have all of them back at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> how hard is it to take this kind of play and put it into a musical, this kind of musical and put it on filmlmlm >> it is extremely hard. what makes it hard is you are starting on a journey with a musical that 60 million people have seen but so many people hold so close to their hearts. and i realize people have a kind of protective and proprietorial attitude toward the musical. so i had to study what it is that people feel protective about. and why is it people go back and back to this musical. and i became convinced it's because the musical offers the people the opportunity to reexperience these strong
emotions time and again. and sometimes they get stronger with time. >> rose: and those emotions are. >> well, i think it has an extraordinary ability, this musical, to jog in your memory knowledge of your own grieves, your own disappointments, your own pains and somehow process these through the catharsis of the story and leaving-- leave you feeling that there is some possibility for redemption and leave you feeling better about the things that-- that make you sad in your life. >> rose: you have said and been quoted as saying the following. before i would do this movie there had to be two things. i have forgotten what the first one was. the second was hugh jack man has to be alive. >> the two continues for doing this film, one was doing all the singing live, and the second was hugh jackman existing. >> rose: okay. so you accomplished both, didn't you?
>> i can't take credit-- (laughter) >> rose: your conditions were met. >> yes, yeah. >> rose: was it dangerous to do the singing live? >> i felt the reverse. i felt it was-- going back to how to translate the musical on to film, to me what i was trying to protect was what makes it emotional. and when you lip sync to playback even if you do it brilliantly there is a falsity, an artificial y'allity which the audience have to reforgive during a movie. so even the great movie muse calls, you forgive it. in a light or comedic musical this is fine but in something about such raw emotions i didn't want the audience to be forgiving the actors during this. and secondly, you know, if you do it live, and we did it live with a live piano accompaniment, so not only is the singing live, but the tempo is being decided live by the actors, you give the power back to the actors. the actors can be completely in the moment. they can take a pause to allow a thought or a feeling to form in the eyes before they express it, if they
start to cry, you know, the crack in the voice can be followed through the song. even if something as simple as when you begin a song. in our set, they could just turn over and roll, they could just sit there until they're absolutely ready to sing. in a playback scenario, okay, charlie, turn over, action, 4, 3, 2, 1, oh, no, charlie you're out, just the tinniest bit, go again. it's not a great place to start on the emotional journey. >> rose: this really is better for the actors. >> oh my gosh, it's like having the handcuffs taken off. i actually did a production of oklahoma which we filmed. and we were told the only way to do it was to lip sync to it. and i remember t was a brutal experience because it was actually from the soundtrack which we had previously done nine months before. so i had been playing the role for nine months. i felt like it was a whole different character, by the time we went to do it i was so hamstrung by that performance. with tom i was totally on board. because of course there are challenges, but ultimately it gives you such freedom as an acker to be spontaneous to actually act the piece
rather than-- to ever feel like are you singing it. >> rose: are you most at home in these musicals and places where you can sing and dance? >> you know, wordly, i was a theatre graduate like-- there was a musical theatre school and a theatre school. i got into a musical and it you are surprised the hell out of me that i got into it i think i spent ten years to convince myself i wasn't a complete fraud. luckily it has been 20 years now that i have been doing them. but it was quite a long time, unlike this incredible woman to my left f she wasn't such a big movie star at age 3, or whatever, would have been a massive broadway star by the time she was 18. but for me it has been a longer process. for one, i'm thrilled i took 27 years to make it. because if has come at the perfect time for me. >> did oklahoma ever go to broadway? >> it did go to broadway. and was one of those weird things where i wanted to go to broadway but because of the union issues between
london and america, i wasn't a name of any type. so they wouldn't allow me in. and then x-men hit. and because that hit, all of a sudden they said oh, well now are you a name and you can come. but i was contracted for the sequel so i couldn't go. >> i just need to confirm that your broadway debut was then boy from oz. >> yes, you established yourself as a musical ledge enwith your broadway debut. i'm just confirming that. >> rose: just being mean. >> no, because he just said something very nice about me so i had to point out that hugh jackman is being modest yet again. >> we're going outcompliment each other. we get very aggressive. >> we're aggressive complimenters. >> rose: did you have a single bit of trepidation about doing this. >> oh, yes, of course. >> rose: what? you knew you could sing. >> no, no all-- . >> rose: you knew that was a powerful moment with this extraordinary song is going to be delivered by you which is what, 25% into the movie.
>> it is sort of the end of the first act. >> there were so many ways that all of this could have gone wrong. and really only one that it could have gone right and i put all my faith into the idea that everything was going go well. and i didn't know how. and i had no guarantee but i just knew if my heart that everything was going to be fine. intellectually there was absolutely no guarantee whatsoever. but tom was so passionate and he had such a vision. and i remember hugh came back from his first day of filming. we did a preshoot, you did a little preshoot. and where you went up into the mountains in france and did 24 takes of singing at the top of his register in freezing conditions and wooden clogs. and the crew came back and they just said oh my god it's one of the most powerful things i have ever seen. at that point i relaxed and said i know there is something to this. we are going to be fine. >> i have been thinking about that question that you asked, anne because all the actors went through it and i'm a sports followers, so it is that thing of, it's not like you can, can i do
it, can-- all of that. at some point you have to come to peace with that. but it's can you be at your best at the super bowl, or as a hundred meter runner will you run your best race at the olympics or maybe was that grand prix event six months before you will find out was a much better time. so it is the pressure you put on yourself because these opportunities come along once in a lifetime. people like this don't exist very often. and they rarely get the opportunity to make movie muse calls. so you just, and because we were live t was the opening night and closing night every day. so it was that thing of, okay. on my day, let's just pray today's the day. >> rose: just for somebody that may not be familiar with the story, what is the story we're talking about here. >> hugh plays a convict jean valjean who has been put in jail for stealing a loaf of bread at the age of 18, 19 and he has just done nine years hard labor in a convict camp and we meet him on the day of his release. and the prison guard say guy called-- played by russell crowe who when he releases
him said you are on parole and just in case you think parole is freedom, parole as a dangerous man means you will be under the watch of the law forever-- forever. and we watch this extraordinary journey that jean valjean goes where this man has lost all kind of hope in humanity, and has building brutallized by the system, tries to survive and he steals some some silver from a bishop who is kind to him. and an amazingly the bisho bishop-- rather than putting him in it, says to the police oh, you know, this silver i gave it to him. and hugh's character has this extraordinary epiphany, a moment of spiritual conversion, a moment, a discovery of faith and basically commits himself to being, you know, a compassionate agent in the world and to changing the way he relates in the world. and completely reinvents himself. and we jump through time to discover this reinvention. >> rose: and who are you. >> i play, well, my
character winds up being jean valjean's soul mirror. i play fontine a factory worker in his factory. at that time. he reinvented himself and event-- eventually becomes as tom said an agent for compassion. the town recognizes it and makes him the mayor. he the crow comes back in his life and if on the day it is discovered my character has a child. i lose my job and there is no social safety net at the time. so i have a descent that's pretty rapid. >> rose: into prostitution. >> yes, yes, by way of, i sell my hair, i sell jewelry, then hair, then my teeth and then there is nothing left to sell so my character becomes a prostitute. >> yes, it's true, there is a child and the child is my daughter. and the father abandoned us. now she lives with a man and his wife and they pay for the child-- at the end of
the day there is nothing but struggles ♪ ♪ struggle for all and struggle for one ♪ ♪ ♪ at the the end of the day ♪ ♪. >> you said acting is the illusion of being free at the moment. >> well, yes, i mean what-- what's very interesting about this is that all the actors had this huge challenge which was to take these in some cases globally iconic songs and create the illusion that they were-- that their characters were the authors and inventors of these songs in the moment. so anne was to the doing a rendition of dreamed a dream. hugh was to the doing a rendition, these songs in the films terms had never existed until now. and they were going to be ripped out of the soul of these pained individuals in
the moment of need and the moment of self-reflection. and that was the challenge i laid down to them. around you know, the reason i wanted to do it live and the reason i needed such formidable actors as i was lucky enough to find is they were able, you know, when you watch dream a dream you are able to forget that this has ever been performed before and you are able to see this song a fresh. and annie's version of that character completely owns that moment. it's like -- she's sing her thought, like a soliloquy in a shakespeare play. >> rose: you also do a lot of close-ups. >> well, interestingly, because that's been noticed. and this, i didn't put that pressure on the actors, when i shot dreamed a dream we had three camerasment i had a wider camera that was tracking in, and a profile camera and a close-up. and when we got to the editing room, and you know, i realized-- . >> rose: focused on one. >> i realized what she is sing being is to the about the space she is in, everything is about what is inside her head and the key
to that is right in there. >> and it is because i'm going to outcompliment you in this interview -- >> oh t is on, jackman t is so on. >> that three minute uncut close-up of that song is one of the first of all great performances but what tom allows the audience is it feels thee at call continuation feels live t feels like are you experience telephoning. but instead of being in the front row if are you lucky enough, you're in ann' lap. >> rose: i like it already. taking that, see if you can top that. >> now you have to do that and sustain it for a two and a half hour film and a glorious performance by hugh jackman. >> i die in 15 minutes, though. >> one of the things you said about this is every one of the characters in this musical is fighting a battle, right. >> uh-huh. >> everybody has a battle they've got to enjoy-- engage. >> yeah.
>> an on different levels are for jeanval jean it acceptic. for fontine it is incredibly epic and distressing. there, for every character it's everything. from the outside you love the trio of eponine kosette and marias, it's love, falling in love for the first time, it's unrequieted love for eponinie and beautifully handled and something i know like 16, 17, 18-year-old are going to watch that part of the story and they are going to melt. and the thing that victor hugo i think gets is he understands the human condition. and it's not all just the most epic of stories as it is with fon teen and jean valjean t is down to the simplest thing, unrequieted love, or falling in love for the first time. that's what makes it i think so timeless and endearing to so many people. >> and what is it about, what is the relationship between you and russell's character. >> it is, i think in literary terms bun of the great rivalries. when you read the book it is
a 1600 page-- . >> rose: they keep coming in and out of each other's life. >> exactly incomes and out of each other's life. and constantly he's a shadow, for my character. a constant reminding him of his past, constantly reminding him of the secrets that he holds and regrets and shame. and it is-- . >> rose: but what is his motivation to do that. >> well, maybe you should speak more to that because you and russell worked together on it and i don't want to presume -- >> i think this, you know, weirdly my head is going back to a scene in john adams which i directed where adams and jefferson are kind of, you know, arguing about two different political worldviews. one is to say that all human beings are perfectable and therefore we need a society that reflects the fact that all human beings are capable of redemption. and the other worldview is that human beings are weak and evil and vicious which
is -- and we need a strong state that going to control and manage these failings. so out of these two springs the whole history of american politics, springs. and this is what you see in those two. he is a pessimist, he believes this man has fallen and can never be redeemed. that he can never be forgiven whereas valjean having inspired in his faith by the bishop, not only believes in the perfect ability of people, but he has done an extraordinary transformation himself. so his worldview is compassionate. the other's worldview sun forgiving. and what obsesses him is the the terrible grinds of gears when he comes up against this guy. because he feels that this guy has a worldview that is somehow challenging or undermining his and that the dissonance of that i think drives him to distraction, drives him into obsession. >> rose: we talked about those two ca,.
your character i was thinking about iting is not a negative or positive, not a glass halfful or empty, your character point of view simply survival. >> yes. >> rose: survival. >> survival for her child. >> rose: right. >> because i think that my character as we mentioned becomes a prostitute. when she loses her job. and i don't think that is something she would have done if she didn't have someone else to care for. now she does not have her child. she had to live away from her child which i think is already just about the most painful condition that a person can be in. she lives-- leaves her child with a family and in order to keep from having the stigma of being an unwed mother. of course when it is discovered that she is, she loses her job and then pretty much realizes she's never going to be able to have her child again. and the survival aspect of it, it's amazing what people are driven to do, not from the self-preservation standpoint but what we will do to help each other. we will become-- we will live in a state of living
death in order to do that which is what fontine does. >> this was in 2009 before you did this, you said my film seemed to be about man's struck well failure. this is not that, is it? >> well, interestingly, because hugh and i had many conversations about this which now doesn't seem an issue. but he had the chance of playing a good man. i mean you know for ten minutes he's dangerous and violent and brutal. and then he becomes good. and there is always a fear that the good man in a movie is the kind of, is the less interesting character. and what hugh and i discovered through reading hugo and talking to hugh was that being good is a strugglement because you know, you can commit to being good but then what is good. what is the right thing to do? you know, so he falls in love with his daughter. he wants to do right by her. he then falls so in love with her, he then struggles to actually let the love go
in order to let the daughter get married to someone else. so you know, so that the practice of good is much tougher than just saying i'm going to be a good guy. so hugh is brilliant as he makes the practice of being good dramatic, intense and full of conflict. and that is the-- that is the brilliance of what he does in my view. >> you are in the competition now. >> somebody say something nice about me. >> rose: you have said an interesting thing. you said i never felt a role which requires more of me in a concentrated period. all my stage, all my films are coming together in this movie, right? >> i think you paraphrased that better than i would be did -- because it sounded like to was not out of my mouth. >> rose: i add a twist here and there. >> you got the drift. >> it was. i mean i know annie feels
the same and tom here. no matter what the fill, i never feel i put less than 100% into it. it's very rare when you get something where physically, vocally this is known as a musical theatre role, it's tough emotionally. and what tom and i talked about and the way to make it interesting to do the justice their journey, it, i needed to go motionally further than i have probably ever been on film before and if anything vickar hugo, les miserables often all those three had to intersect in exactly the same song, like every day. there was really no easy, we never turned up and said oh, bit a party scene today watch. do we eat during the scene. >> oh, bon bon or croissant, how fun! >> when was the last time you had a bon bon. >> don't ask me that question right now. i went vegan so pastries are -- >> gone from your diet. >> i have the odd cupcake.
>> rose: when are you putting all this together, how much did you decide would be spoken dialogue and how much music. >> it was the central question. i mean interestingly william nicholson my wonderful screenwriter, his very first draft, he decided to follow the patent of almost every major movie musical and to divide les miserables into dialogue interspersed with songs. and he was following various established pattern. there are only two movie musicals through song, someone tomorrowie and one is evita. and you know, when are you making a film for a studios, you for example it's tough to look at that list of box office success and go this is the way to go. we're going to back you 100%, you know. so but you know, but the musical is through song. the musical is kind of like an opera, you know, and singing does drive it. and i, so i kept thinking, okay, so i'm trying to make
a musical that is as real as possible. i'm using live singingment i'm trying to get people to be hooked by this story who maybe don't even like movie musicals. i want to embrace everyone. and i started to think about the difficulty of moving constantly from one medium to the other, from the spoken medium to the song medium because there are these gear changes. suddenly if i was to sing to you, charlie, would you wonder why on earth now. i mean you would. and unless you got a very good reason about why are you going to transition, it's trickier. and i went-- he said unless you got a contract you can make with the audience that gives you permission it's tricky. we talked about chicago, the songs of the fancy inside our head and that kind of workses. so i just felt i'm going to go for it i will say this is a world like ours but the primary way we kpun kate is through song and i'm just going to own that from the beginning and not do the gear changes. and hope that people will just relax. what's great is i found in the previews and premiers
we've done is within minutes people just forget about it and are just into the story like any other movie. and that's the best news i have been gettingment because what i want to take away, i just want it to be about a great story using this, the musical form to give it a heightened power. but it's got to be about the story. >> did the originatedders of the original stage version write a song, a new song for you? >> it was tom's idea. victor hugo says of my character that there were two thunderbolts or lightning bolts of realization in his life, one was a virtue when the bishop reprieves him and the candlesticks. the second is of love when he meets kosette. and it goes into a long description how this 50-year-old man experiences love for the first time in his life and it's an avalanche of emotionment an i remember tom saying this is unbelievable. we don't even have a song for. this we have songs for everything, we don't have a song for this moment. this is something i have
never seen before. >> rose: this song matches her. >> it does am so he gave the song the job to the guys who created this timeless work, i can't-- he says he wrote a song for this and they came up with this song suddenly. which as they were writing it they stayed kong-- they were writing it for my voice f was a very out of body experience. normally for me a song take ace while to get in my bones. so i came in, i sang with them, and first time i sang it i was like oh, felt like i wrote it, you know. that is how good these guys are. >> wow. >> it was a wonderful opportunity. >> that was the usuall usually-- unusual thing about this musical. is we were reunited with the original creative team that created the musical. -- and i think very few musicals in cinema have had that tune for the original team to reassemble and to work on the screenplay with bill. that was hugely exciting.
>> rose: thank you for coming t was great to see you again. >> thanks, charlie. good to see you rses back in a moment, stay with us. the devastating earthquake in 2004 off the coast of indonesia unleashed a tsunami that swept across the indian ocean. more than 200,000 people were killed. maria belon and her family were on vacation in thailand when the disaster struck. their harrowing story is the subject of a new film by juan antonio. here is the trailer. >> boys, come and see this. >> isn't that great? >> we can go swimming. >> yeah. >> go get it, lucas.
lucas! >> the most scary bit for me. >> and the water hit. >> and i came up. and i was on my own. and then i saw the two of you. i didn't feel so scared any more. mommy and lucas are on their own right now. i'm going to keep looking for them. one love ♪ ♪. >> i'm scared. >> one life ♪ ♪ with each other ♪ sisters ♪.
>> you're looking for your family? ♪ carry open other ♪ carry each other ♪. >> i look in all the hospitals. i look in all the scholl ters. i will find them, i promise you that. >> rose: joining me now two costars it naomi watts and ewan mcgregor and the director, and maria belon. i'm pleased to have all of them here at this table to talk about this movie which has been getting alot of attention. and i think surprisingly so,
even though there is a lot of talent there, because people didn't imagine you could take this stove-- story and do what he has done for it, so congratulations. >> thank you so much. >> rose: how did this come to you am and what made you think this is a movie i want to make. >> well, it was the anniversary of the tsunami when maria came with her story for the first time to a radio show. nobody in spain knew the story. they never wanted to go and explain their story to anybody. i think because at that moment, they were still dealing with a lot of what they called, i'm sorry to say that, survival's guilt, even though she hates that word. she talks about more than guilt, about suffering. so it was very-- i was very shocked. it was very emotional not just for me but it was a producer who toll me the story. she was exactly the samement and everybody i told the story, they were feeling the same emotionsment so i realized that there were something in there that goes
beyond the context of the tragedy, and talks about ourselves, about human nature. >> rose: so this is a story of human nature more than a story of a huge tsunami. >> yeah. i mean i never planned to do a film about the tsunami. but from the moment i knew i was going to do that, i had to get all the information. i had to be in contact with as much people as possible who was there. in order to give the big picture on the film. but ultimately the film also tries to talk about ourselve and our-- about our condition. >> rose: imagine when you watch the movie and as good as it is, maria, it's nothing like it was to be there at that moment. >> it's an incredible movie. i see it and i can realize it. people can feel what was the beginning of being there. just the line that against, you know, all the horror and the pain but it's incredible the job that he did because when you watch the movie you can feel the experience. it's not, i mean you can
watch from outside, just feel you are inside so you get all the, you know, feelings and experience we felt as the people went through. >> rose: what was it like homes before the tsunami struck. >> it was holiday, paradise. i had control of my life. nothing is going to happen. i'm going to plan what i am going to do with my day, you know. normal day am you think you can control. >> rose: and the sound, does it get quiet. >> suddenly it came a sound that i thought it was in my brain because it was just too strange, too terrific to be in other people so we all suddenly started to look each other sayingogue, this is maybe something heim's hearing myself, everything was perfect and you could hear a horror sound o of-- something was coming. it was like what is this sound coming. the ground is not moving, the sealing is still there,
then-- . >> rose: then you look up and there is a wave that you have never seen. >> no t wasn't a wave, actually it wasn't a wave t was a wall, it was a black wall, black. >> rose: you just look up and saw something coming at you. >> that is huge and black. >> yeah, i thought it was death. i said nobody tolted me death was physical, yeah, this is death coming. >> rose: so what did you think at that moment. >> that's the end. >> rose: this is it. >> this is it. this is it. i don't have any other chance. to even hug any of my children to say anything to anyone. so i thought wow, it's quite sudden. >> rose: this is the way if happens. >> yeah, it's quite sudden. >> rose: and then they came and cast you and you don't like water. >> yeah, not particularly. i've had some bad experiences in water. >> rose: then why did you do this? >> that story that is inside of the bigger story, well, i mean that was a big story in itself, just the beautiful relationship between these five people.
and their need to survive. and i just was struck by the courage that this woman had, and i mean i think when you go to see a film like this you always put yourself in that scenario and go how would i deal with this, who would i bement and i'm certain i would be nothing like maria. but maria talks about it and says you don't knowment and i don't think we do know. and i think we need to understand it. and a movie helps us a little bit. >> rose: it's to use a memory that is with us right now in connecticut, those teachers who stood in the line and lunged at a gunman to protect their kids, you ask yourself when you hear that would i have done the same thing. >> i i think that's right. i think none of us know how we would react in a situation like that until are you unlucky enough to be in one. and then. >> rose: and then if you have children, the idea of survival just kicks in. >> yeah. well, when i came out from the water i would say i was
feeling why i am alive. i don't want to be alive. that was pie feeling. that was, this is scene where naomi is screaming this incredible screaming means i don't want to be alive. i don't have any meaning to be alive if i am alone, if i don't have anyone to take care of, anyone to love, why do i am alive. but-- . >> rose: because you thought at that moment they were all gone. >> absolutely. you have no other thought, not at all. i mean when we went through it was just impossible to think anyone else was live. >> rose: i want to see the scene now of her played by naomi grasping the tree. what do you want to see and feel in that scene? >> well, maria just told that she came and said i didn't want to be alive in that moment. i went to naomi and i asked her to shout as wild as possible, to led the
audience understand that feeling, why am i alive. roll tape, here it is. >> this scene comes later, but the scene where just grasping a tree and not knowing, not knowing what is going to happen, is it going to get worse or better, it's over, not over, all of that. >> yeah, i think that's what they both spoke about. and i also remember a time of being held underwater when we were doing the underwater sequence. we had a slight technical problem and i came to the
surface with the same kind of rage when your breath is held too long, you panic. but i think maria was beyond the panic moment when she-- you had given up and within. >> those situations are beyond any words we have to communicate, it was like panic what is panic. i mean that wasn't panic. >> rose: were you there while they were making the povie. >> yeah. >> rose: so you had all the-- you had every moment could talk to her. >> not the whole time but yes n the rehearsals and the preparation we had a good amount of time to speak to each other. and then they came to thailand which was a pretty big moment for you guy, wasn't it. >> uh-huh. >> and when she wasn't there, thank goodness, maria just like an open book, it just flushes out of her. and she would write these long long letters. and you know, every time we would change scenes i would read pages and pages of descriptive detail of what she was going through. >> rose: you said i think somewhere you couldn't think about your own kids when you were filming this. >> i didn't make myself think about them.
i think i was asked if i was sort of using my own children in sort of preparation for a scene that i was going play. >> rose: to lose them and not know whether they survived or not. >> or to sort of imagine them in the situation as opposed to-- i think that would be wrong t didn't feel that it was-- i wasn't able to do that. first of all i didn't want to imagine my children in a situation like this because it's too awful to imagine. and also we created this family, you know, when a short space of time in the beginning of the movie to create a family that we want the audience to follow. we had these three incredible boys to work with, playing our sons. and naomi and i have worked together before and we are friends. and we are both parents. so i don't know, i thought about our boys. i thought about this family when we were preparing to do the scene. i think it's almost better when are you acting to be thinking your character's thoughts anyway, not some disassociated thought.
so that is what i did. >> rose: so how, you wanted to do what with the water scenes, to convey the impression of how, what? >> well, it was all about reality. i mean from the very beginning you had to put a face to the monster. i mean such an important moment in the story. it had to be real. i didn't want it to look like visual effect sequence with visual effects continuation had to be realistic. >> how did dow that? >> well-- i mean we spent more than a year thinking about how to do that. because we got to a point that it had to be using real water. so we recreated the whole tsunami strong current of water. and the moment when the wattary rifes or in a huge water tank, in spain. and we use miniatures. we use this channel of water recreated, very long, like 60 metres and we put the
actors in there, and they spent six weeks swallowing water. rdz what was it like, what did it look like after the tsunami had gone devastation everywhere? >> everywhere. i thought the whole earth is like this. i mean it's like everywhere should look like this. it was like, i don't know, the end of life. >> rose: did you want to come back and write about it? it had been such a searing experience. >> write about it? >> rose: yeah. >> no, i mean we have a film. >> rose: yeah, i know. but that was what, how many years after the tsunami when you heard her. >> i met her three years after. >> rose: three years after, you could have written three books three years after. >> actually, si have tom b's of writing. but i mean, there is no book. >> rose: and so what do you want to us know about your experience? what does this movie tell us about your experience? >> a survival instinct, the other one is-- you were
telling before are you in a hofk situation you really realize who i am, are you not who you think. it's when are you in those situation, the real self comes out. before it's just about thinking. >> an did you like what came out? >> yeah. >> and you wanted to capture that. >> yeah. i would-- you spoke about always being in her center and in the present and the here and now. and nothing was in the way of making these quick decisions. and important powerful moments. i would love toment feel that. >> i got that as a-- from the tsunami. i don't have future or past. i just, here, that's my life, here. >> rose: if we can all learn that, we would be better? >> more peaceful, more peaceful, i think. anxiety comes from being not
in the present. >> rose: we're going to see a scene if i'm lucky know. are you talking, about needing to find the rest of the family. >> yeah. henry who i play, there was a great deal of talk about another way of come-- another wave coming, rumor which became fact to the people who were still by the coast. and sow took his two youngest sons who he knew were safe and he put them on a truck with some other survives heading for the hills. and he told his middle son, thomas to look after the young one. and he had to step up and look after him because-- he wanted to keep looking for maria. and lucas. >> rose: roll tape, there is. >> i'm scared. >> i know, i know. i'm scared too. but do you know, do you know the most scary bit for me. >> when the water hit. >> no, after that, when i came up, and i was all on my
own, that was the scariest part. and then i saw the two of you clinging to the tree and i didn't feel so scared any more because i knew i wasn't on my own, you see. but what is mummy and lucas are on their own right now, hmmmm? you can imagine how scared they'll be. >> we'll look for them together. >> no, thomas. you have to look after simon. and i'm going to keep looking for them. okay? okay? >> rose: this is your first english fill,-- film. >> yeah. >> rose: was it difficult? >> another challenge to put on me. i mean -- >> create a tsunami, direct in english. >> children and water. >> one of the first people i called to tell about the story. and i mean he noticed from the very beginning that i
needed to do this film. because i was almost, i became very emotional telling this story. and once i finished the story, he told me, it's beautiful story but i will-- i'm not shooting that. the water, the kids. and then we went to thailand, a foreign country, in a different language, the first time i met these two guys, to talk about the script. i wanted to die in that moment. i had this great on my hands and i had to talk about life-and-death. and of course as a director language is your main tool. and you want to go to the specifics. and sometimes in a conversation a word, a different word could mean something very different. but at the end, one of the things i like about the fill some that we talk a lot about a lot of things that you don't use words to explain. and it's funny that one of the first things that maria asked when we started to do the film was that she didn't
allow us to tell the nationality of the family. >> no, that wasn't-- . >> rose: because it is a british family even though are you not spanish. >> it was not blirb, it has to nationality. >> well, they have skin and eyes and accents and they are real but they never say where they come fromment they never said where they come from. >> rose: and that's important because? >> extremely important because this story was about everyone there. it didn't matter color, race, language, social level. i mean once under the wave, we were the same. we were the same so it was really, really important for us to say this is not about spanish or swedish or british family. it's about people under this situation. >> rose: but i think i hear you saying that as terrible as it was, and as tragic as it was and horrible things that came out of it, and mostly all the number of people that died, that for
you it was a life changing experience that was positive. >> yeah, yeah. it's hard for me to say that because i know, i mean so many people going under pain and losing, but it was, it was. i tell you, i mean i was a very scared person before. i don't know. >> rose: you don't know fear any more. >> yes, i don't take care of my fears any more. >> rose: you also get beaten up pretty inch this film. >> hor see-- sorry. >> rose: you get beaten up by the elements. >> yeah, very much. >> rose: was it existing to film. >> yeah, very existing. but every time you get to that point of feeling like you've reached your limit and wanting to complain and say no, i'm done. can we to the do this any more, would you remember that this is nothing. we know we're safe. we know-- you know what they went through was a totally different experience. so you better shut up and get on where it, you're just an actor and keep your complaints to yourself. i mean that was-- the water stuff was the physically draining stuff.
and like nothing i've ever done before. and then we got to thailand and that is where all the emotional stuff -- >> then it was even harder. >> yeah. >> rose: what are you doing next? >> i am making a fill number australia, in western australia. >> rose: on the water. >> in february, yeah, by the beach. yeah. with a very young first time feature director, young gentleman named julieas avery who made a very good short film. >> rose: are you surprised by the sort of love that most people who saw the film, about fly fishing in yemen had, the response to that? >> no, i'm really delighted. >> rose: i'm delighted by it because i love the film very much. >> rose: i did too. >> and hi a wonderful experience making it. in fact, i was texting naomi who was in the water tank in spain while we were in the desserts of morocco and i was saying how is the tang. she said it is a nightmare. oh, it's quite nice in the desert.
so yeah, they were right back-to-back those two films. but i'm very happy about t it's nice. >> rose: when you choose actors for this what is in your mind other than talent. >> i think a cast is basically a question of instinct. you need to see the characters. >> rose: in other words, you know the character and you have to look into their eyes and their performances and their essence is see when you look at her -- >> well, for naomi, i think she's so good in getting close to dark aspects of life. i mean-- . >> rose: dow recognize that? >> you do? >> i guess so,-- i guess so, yeah. >> yeah, it's very impressive because she's a very shy person. but then she transform-- transforms in an incredible way. >> and becomes a monster. >> i don't agree it's a dark-- it is deeper, when you go deeper it gets darker. but it's going into very
deep level. >> an with ewan i think it's always no matter how dark or light, you will find in the characters he portray you will find always this humbleness and humanity. >> rose: the word i was thinking about was humanity. >> i sent him a letter with the script telling him that i would have preferred to shoot the film with gregory peck or spencer tracy but i couldn't get him. so the first option after that was for ewan. >> that's very kind. >> rose: you don't mind playing secretary to a dead spencer tracy or gregory peck. >> definitely not, that's perfect az angelina controllie hosted a screening for you in london and introduced you and saided following. ive's known you for years, one of my favorite actors and i always loved watching and i watched this and didn't recognize you. it's strange to say it is one of the best performance of the year it really doesn't give it credit it doesn't give it credit
because it doesn't feel like a performance it comes from such an honest place. so deeply emotional, you rarely see this kind of emotion from a man as an acker,. i'm in awe. did you feeling that? >> i was so touched that angelina threw the screening for us. she talks about all of us. and because she was very moved by its film. she and brad i think saw a screening in l.a. and then decided to host a screening of the fill number london for us. but it was very sweet of her and very kind words. >> rose: for all of you what is it you think. i mean is there a sense of connection in which critics have said as well. what is it, that makes somehow people respond to this fill number is it the human story of survival? >> i think what i like about the story and at least this is the reason why i did the film, is that the hero doesn't rely in what they did for survival. but what they did to keep their dignity. >> yeah. >> as human beings. i mean we were talking about this teachers. these teachers were not thinking about survival.
they were thinking about their dignity. >> larger than themselves, the life of the kids. >> and i think this is something very universal. and into these very dark context to find a light in such a beautiful way. i mean it moved me in a way that i had the need to do this film. >> rose: this is the thanks to the local people who had taken care of her. here it is after it was all over.
>> thank you. thank you. thank you. you and i have had television programs after a number of moments in your life. are you-- where are you? because it seems as if are you getting much better roles this. >> oh, thank you, yeah, it's actually, yeah, despite what everyone says it's all over 40. >> rose: it's not all over at 40. >> well, i don't think so no, i think you just have to be up for reinventing it, and changing it. and you can't play the roles that you used to be able to play but there's better ones around the corner. and i think the longer the life, the deeper it gets. and that the roles should reflect that. and you know, women above 40
or possibly going through bigger stories, and not just being the cute treat on someone's arm,al. >> not that i ever really was that. >> rose: well said, yeah, thank you. good to he sue again. >> thank you, charlie. >> thank you very much. >> great to meet you. >> thank you. >> and you. >> thank you so much. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for joining us. see you next time.
captioning sponsored by wpbt >> this is n.b.r. >> susie: good evening, everyone. i'm susie gharib. tom will be along a little later in the program. last-minute christmas shoppers filled the stores today, but will it be enough to push retailers into the green this holiday season? the clock is ticking to the fiscal cliff deadline, but with those talks on hold, so is the santa claus rally on wall street. and they're a rare breed in corporate america. we look at why so few c.e.o.'s are women. that and more, tonight on nbr. >> susie: not a very merry day of trading on wall street today. it was a holiday shortened session, and the investors and traders working on this half- day were playing it safe, especially with the fiscal cliff ks